UN chief calls for peaceful means, dialogue to defuse tension in Madagascar
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called on parties in Madagascar to settle disagreements through peaceful means and an inclusive dialogue after riots hit the country, Xinhua reported.
Ban said in a statement that he is concerned about the security of the people in Madagascar and deplores the loss of life in the Indian Ocean island nation.
"The secretary-general has been closely following the situation in Madagascar, as a result of serious unrest and the death of dozens of people that took place in (the capital) Antananarivo and elsewhere recently," the statement said.
He called on the Malagasy government "to place an absolute priority on the protection of the population."
"The United Nations reiterates its offer of support to the dialogue process and to national reconciliation," it added.
A wave of riots hit the capital of Madagascar this week and left at least 43 people dead, reports said.